It's hard to dress for Christmas. Most women stress out endlessly about striking that perfect balance between being festive and looking like a walking Christmas tree. But what about after Christmas? Don't default to your recently-received reindeer sweater and a pair of sweats. Follow our advice to keep yourself looking great even after the holidays.
1. Skip the Festive Stuff
Everyone has that one relative who insists on giving holiday-themed apparel on Christmas morning, but don't let gratitude or obligation be your stylistic undoing. Feel free to don those snowmen and wreaths for your Christmas photos, but as soon as midnight strikes, pack them away until the next holiday season. Nothing looks more outdated than holding on to holiday clothes after the holiday.
Here are a few things to stay away from:
- Holiday motifs like snowmen, reindeer, and decorated trees.
- Bright reds and greens, especially worn together.
- Big satin or glitter-covered bows (now is not the time to dress up like a present)
2. ... But Keep the Winter Look
Skipping festive clothing doesn't mean ditching all of your winter clothes, though. Fair Isle sweaters are still fair game, although you should be aware that bright red ones can look a little too Christmas-y. Blues, grays, and anything dark will work much better as part of your post-Christmas wardrobe. Follow the same color rule for scarves, mittens, and hats.
Do remember that it is still winter, so don't go breaking out your spring clothes no matter how sick you are of snow. That means staying away from most pastels (an icy blue can be nice, though, depending on your coloring) and continuing to wear tights with your skirts and dresses.
3. Fabrics that Drape
If you're like most people, the holidays have probably put a couple of pounds on your midsection, but that's no reason to succumb to the siren song of sweatpants and PJs. There are plenty of looks that are both forgiving and stylish. Try a full skirt that sits at your natural waist. It'll skim right over any problem areas, and it'll look great with tights and a sweater, too. Slim-fitting jeans with a big blouse-y top are another great option that hides everything while still looking a little trendy.
4. One New Thing at a Time
Even though you may have gotten a boatload of new duds for Christmas, try to resist wearing them all at once. Odds are some of those pieces won't quite fit into your current style, so you risk looking like a totally different person if you debut all of them on the same day. Instead, spend a little time working your new pieces into your existing style one piece at a time.
On the same note, don't be afraid to return or donate items that don't work with your style. Even if Great Aunt Mabel did spend three months knitting that huge orange sweater, if it doesn't work it just doesn't work, so write her a thoughtful thank-you note and let it go. If you have a few girlfriends in the same situation, you might even consider hosting a Christmas clothing swap, so each of you can get rid of your misguided gifts and maybe get something nice while you're at it.
5. Don't Throw Out the Sparkles
Your Christmas parties are all over for the year, but don't tuck that little black dress in the back of your closet just yet. You've still got New Years, Valentine's Day, and a host of other events coming up. Odds are that your Christmas dress can be reworked to make it great for any of those events to. The key to that is switching up your accessories. Skip the sparkly green, red, and gold pumps, first off. Try something in blue, purple, or non-festive metallics like pewter to make it seem fresher. Stay away from big bows on your clutch, too; an edgy animal print can bump it up a notch for New Years. And don't worry if your fellow party-goers have seen this dress before: Add different shoes, an edgy clutch, fresh jewelry, and perhaps an attention-grabbing belt, and it'll be good as new!
About the author:
Helen Meechan is freelance fashion blogger and writes for a number of blogs in the UK and US.